Sales Success: Four Critical Steps

Jan 16 07:18 2007 Chuck Gallagher Print This Article

It’s been said often, “Some folks can’t seem to see the forest for the trees.” Perhaps that’s true in any arena, but it seems that it’s rampant in sales, especially when sales are down. This article explores the fundamental law of sales - "The Solution is Always to the Left." Stick to the basics and watch your sales soar!

It’s been said often,Guest Posting “Some folks can’t seem to see the forest for the trees.” Perhaps that’s true in any arena, but it seems that it’s rampant in sales, especially when sales are down. Time after time, when sales start to fall we find sales people becoming so caught up in the “slump” that they fail to focus on the four critical steps to consistent sales success. Motivational speaking is a multi-million dollar a year business and, in large part, it is attended by those who need that inspirational reminder of what they already know. Not that speaking for a living is bad. I do that. The audience, however, through years of experience already knows the answer. They just need to be reminded. Sales people tend to be motivated by immediate gratification. Those who have been in sales successfully for years understand that seeds planted today come to fruition later. Although there are moments of immediate gratification, frequently the fruition will take time. Motivational speeches are, perhaps, that little nudge to focus them not on the slump, but on the outcome. Let’s define the four critical steps to sales success, in order to re-establish successful habits. Mind you now, once you read this you’ll know just how simple sales success can be, if only you’ll focus on these four items and ignore all other distractions.

Question One: If your income comes from sales, are you making as much as you want or need?If you answered, yes - Stop reading! You obviously are practicing the fundamental principles that create success and reading further is a distraction. Go back to doing what you do best.

If, on the other hand, you answered No – then you don’t have enough sales. Sales create income and not enough income equals not enough sales. Solution – go get more sales. Now, I know from making hundreds of presentations to countless sales professionals, some of you are a bit perplexed at my simplistic approach. How, you say, do we just go get more sales? We’ll get to that, but for now stick with me. The first step is increasing your sales volume. Simple. There is nothing hard about this concept. It is critical to grasp, however, because the solution is always to the left. That statement will make sense a bit later.

Question Two: If you don’t have enough sales to support your income needs, then aren’t you lacking in enough people to see – enough presentations or appointments?This one seems obvious. If you are not generating enough sales volume either you lack people to see (enough appointments) or your closing skills need improvement. More times than not, the issue isn’t just closing skills, it’s people to present to and close.

Let’s look at this two ways: (1) if you are having trouble setting appointments from your leads (which, by the way is closing), then you will have more trouble closing the sale when you do make a presentation; and (2) inadequate presentations will always result in inadequate sales.

So let’s look at our matrix thus far. Remember the solution is always to the left!


O.K., so you get it? The solution is always to the left. If you don’t have enough presentations you won’t have enough sales. So what now?Question Three: If I don’t have enough presentations, then how many leads do you have in your pipeline?Well, I don’t know. Probably enough! Really? Ask yourself this question; do you suspect that highly successful business people guess at their income or assets? Better still, if you were having surgery tomorrow would you want the person administering the anesthesia to guess at the amount? Of course not! Then, why would you guess about your leads?If you don’t know how many leads you have, then you don’t have a finger on the pulse of your lifeline. For sales professionals, lead acquisition and management is critical. You can take it to the bank, if you lack presentations, you lack a sufficient number of leads to support your sales efforts.

Let’s go back…remember the solution is always to the left. Look at the matrix again.


The point is - you have to have leads in order to make presentations and enough presentations equal sales and that creates your income…right? So are those the four things?No – those are three things that help to generate your income. Your income is the outcome and we’ve just identified three of the four critical steps to success. So what is the fourth?Question Four: Since you’ve identified that lead deficiency is a problem, what’s the solution?Good question! Any building built on a weak foundation is subject to crumble. Likewise, any sales professional who misses the foundation of sales success will struggle and, likely fail. This foundation is prospecting.

One of my dear friends and a great professional speaker, Gary O’Sullivan ( states in his book “Principle Power” the following: “Every day you don’t prospect, the next day you must settle for a lesser degree of performance!” Ladies and Gentlemen…that statement is a fact. The foundation of consistent sales performance is prospecting on a consistent basis.

How many times have I heard someone say to me in a job interview, “You hand me a lead and I’ll close ‘em. I’m a closer.” Well, let me say, I didn’t hire those folks because they were applying for a sales position and closing is just a part of the process. True sales professionals do four things: (1) prospect for leads; (2) develop the leads they identify; (2) make sales presentations; and (4) close sales. Each of those represents the four critical steps to sales success.

Remember the solution is always to the left!


Sales success requires constant attention to the four critical steps to success. For presentations to your sales organization to help them refocus or remind them of what they already know (but need to hear from a professional) contact Chuck Gallagher at

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About Article Author

Chuck Gallagher
Chuck Gallagher

On a crisp October day in 1995, Chuck Gallagher took 23 physical steps… opened a door… and began a new experience that was life-changing. Gallagher explores that experience and the success that followed… while involving the reader in ways that could be life-altering for them. Gallagher captures the heart of the audience in an honest way that deals with human emotion. For information on Chuck’s keynotes and workshops go to or for a free ezine on Ethical Choices contact Chuck at

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